Configuring a new drawing
Video: Configuring a new drawingComing from the Windows side of things, you've probably created your fair share of AutoCAD drawings. The good news is the process of drawing creation is virtually identical on the Mac, and you can even utilize your existing Windows content. In this lesson, we're going to look at a couple of ways to configure a new drawing file. To start a new drawing, I'll move up to the File menu and select New. This opens Finder and places me in the Template folder where I can select a template drawing. Looking in this folder, you can see several of the same templates that we typically see on the Windows platform.
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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac with Jeff Bartels covers the fundamental differences between the 2011 Mac OS X version of AutoCAD and the venerable PC edition, allowing designers to leverage existing AutoCAD skills and easily transition to the new environment. This course runs through both a typical 2D and 3D design workflow, covering its workspace, tools, customization options, and strategies users can apply working in a mixed Windows and Mac environment. Exercise files are included with the course.
- Adjusting preferences
- Customizing the interface
- Opening and managing drawings
- Constructing a 2D drawing
- Creating and inserting block references
- Building a library using the Content Manager
- Making references to external files and images
- Plotting drawings
- Creating a model in 3D space
Configuring a new drawing
Coming from the Windows side of things, you've probably created your fair share of AutoCAD drawings. The good news is the process of drawing creation is virtually identical on the Mac, and you can even utilize your existing Windows content. In this lesson, we're going to look at a couple of ways to configure a new drawing file. To start a new drawing, I'll move up to the File menu and select New. This opens Finder and places me in the Template folder where I can select a template drawing. Looking in this folder, you can see several of the same templates that we typically see on the Windows platform.
I'm going to select the acad template and I'll click Open. This creates a brand-new drawing using the acad template as my starting point. I am also going to maximize this drawing on screen. Now, let's configure our drawing units. To do that, I'll open the Format menu and I'll come down and select Units. This brings up the Drawing Units dialog box which is very similar to the Windows version. At the top are the familiar Length and Angle settings and Precisions, and down here in the lower-left is where I can declare my drawing units.
Let's assume that I'm an architect and I'm setting up this drawing for architectural work. I'm going to change my Length type to Architectural, and then I'll accept the default Precision of 1/16th of an inch and I'll ensure that my drawing units are set to Inches. Finally, I'll click OK to save my settings and return to model space. Now, let's launch the Line Command. I'll specify my first point, and notice that the length is being displayed in architectural measurements using 1/16th of an inch as the smallest increment.
So, as you can see, this drawing is properly configured for architectural work. We can take this concept even further. Now that I've set up my units, I could go through and create all of my Standard layers, Linetypes, Text and Dimension styles, and layouts. When I'm finished, I could then save this drawing as a template such that I could start all of my new drawings using this one. To do that, I would select Save from the File menu, and then I would change the File Format to Drawing Template, and AutoCAD will take me right into the Template folder where I can store my new template file.
This is the same workflow that we use when working in a Windows environment. I'm going to move down and cancel this save. Now, what if I already have a collection of templates that I've created using a Windows version of AutoCAD? You might be wondering if I can use those templates with the Mac version, and the answer is yes, you can. Let me show you how we can do that. I'm going to go to the AutoCAD menu and I'll open up the Application Preferences. Then I'll select the Application group, I'll come right over here and open up Template Settings, and then I'll open up Drawing Template File Location.
Right here is the path to the Template folder. This is where you want to put any template files you may already have. This way when you click File, New, they'll be right there on your screen. As a side note, if you don't want to keep your templates in the Default folder, you can click this button to change the Path to any other folder on your network. Now, I happen to have a template file that was created using the Windows version of AutoCAD. Let's create a new drawing using that template. I'm going to close this dialog box and then I'll move up and select File, New, and my template file isn't in the default folder; it's in the exercise files folder.
So, I'm going to jump out to the Desktop. Let's open the exercise files folder. I'll open up chapter_02, I'll select the lynda_template file right here, and I'll click Open. Let's maximize this. As you can see, even though my template was created using the Windows version of AutoCAD, it works flawlessly. If I come over here and open up the layer Control, you can see that this drawing already contains several of my Standard layers.
If I click the Show Drawings & Layouts icon, I can see several of my Standard Layouts are also defined in this file. We'll talk more about the Show Drawings & Layouts tool in a future lesson. For right now, I'm going to click the X in the upper-left corner to close this dialog box. So, if you already have a collection of templates that you regularly use, you should have no problem migrating those over to the Mac. When it comes to drawing configuration, you'll find the workflow to be identical between the Windows and Mac version of AutoCAD, and since the Mac version supports all of your existing content, you can put it to work immediately in a production environment.
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